I could never have predicted I would write eight thousand pages (and counting), and find such a rich and diverse life inside me. Each part of myself I found differently at different times and for different reasons. Each part has always been with me for most of my life, just further articulated and honed in words through what amounts to, for lack of a better word, magic.
It's taken years to come to a place of viewing my process as healthy and life affirming versus sick and disordered. I spent a long time meditating on whether or not I was a victim of iatrogenesis, encouraged, potentially, by a therapist to become a fascinating case of multiple personality disorder (which I am not.)
At some point I decided it would be fun to have buttons made for all my Parts. For a while I played with them, wearing one one day and another the next. I think I was testing and playing with the idea of how real these Parts are to me--how externalized they would become. A couple years down the road from creating the buttons, I've landed in a place of appreciating these parts of myself as artistic creations shaped by my mind in writing. These parts then help me to express my entire self in writing, much like a well rehearsed orchestra that has been practicing daily for years.